The Mustangs knew coming into this game that it would be a tall task, but head coach Steven Kelly was ready for the challenge.
The Rams struggled in the first half scoring but only trailed 28-19 going into halftime.
Sophomore Solomon Washington would jump start the Rams in the third with a steal & big time dunk. Washington would score 6 of his 18 points in the third & helped his team cut the lead down to 41-38. Sophomore Alex Hammond would knock down a three as time expired to tie the game at 41 going into the fourth for the Mustangs.
With 1:56 left in the fourth Hammond would go the length of the floor & finish the lay in to give the Mustangs a 55-51 lead. Washington would answer right back for the Rams to cut the lead to 55-53 with 1:13 left in the game. The Mustangs would knock down two free throws to & make it 57-53 with under a minute left to play.
Sophomore Dorian Finister would hit a big three for the Rams to cut it to 57-56 with 27 seconds left to play. Senior Tahj Gilyot would make the play of the game with a huge block for the Mustangs & would ultimately give his team the win.
Tahj Gilyot & Alex Hammond led the Mustangs with 11 points a piece.
Solomon Washington led all scorers with 18 points for Carver & Dorian Finister finished with 16 points.
The Mustangs would lose a tough one on the road to Port Allen on Saturday 65-58. They have a record of 13-11 on the season.
You can bet your money when these two teams lock up that the game will come down to a possession or two.
In front of a packed house both teams gave everybody what they came to see. The Braves jumped out early up 19-12 at the end of the first quarter. But the Tigers would go on a 12-1 run in the second quarter with Darwin Davis playing a big part in that connecting on two three pointers. Tigers would go up 24-20 with just over three minutes left in the half.
Thibodaux’s Kyren Lacy would get a steal & go the length of the floor for a big time high flying dunk that sent the Tiger fans in a frenzy. But the Braves would answer right back when Deondre Buggage hit a huge three pointer at the buzzer to give his team a 37-34 lead at the half.
The Tigers would retake the lead in the third & go into the fourth quarter up 55-50. Kyren Lacy would turn it up a notch in the fourth scoring twelve straight points for the Tigers & would have his team in front 68-67 with 1:57 left in the fourth.
Braves senior Damon Watkins would come up clutch down the stretch scoring 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter. Renard Burdis & Deondre Buggage would go 4-4 from the free throw line with under a minute to help the Braves hold off the Tigers 78-75.
Deondre Buggage finished with 27 points, 7 assists, & 4 steals. And Damon Watkins finished with 20 points & 3 steals for the Braves.
Kyren Lacy led all scorers with 32 points & 14 rebounds for the Tigers. Darwin Davis finished with 17 points.
Early Friday morning Jesse Turner confirmed that he had been named the new head football coach at Ellender.
David McCormick resigned in December after four seasons as head coach, which many believe McCormick will have strong consideration to be the next head football coach at South Terrebonne.
Turner is an Ellender alum & was a standout running back from 2004-2008, then went on to star at Nicholls State from 2008-2012. He has also been the offensive coordinator the last four seasons for the Patriots.
“This is something that I’ve been wanting for a long time,” Turner said. “I’m passionate about this school & these kids deserve the best. For me it’s all about changing the culture & putting a sense of pride back into the school. I know it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight, but I’m extremely confident that I’ll get this program exactly where it needs to be.”
The last time the Patriots had a winning season was in 2016 when they went 6-5. It’s no secret that a lot of talent comes through this program year in & year out, but what has been the missing formula to having successful seasons consistently??
“Kids want to be apart something & believe it or not they want structure,” Turner said. “We have to change how we do things around here. Something small as having all our kids dressed the same at practice goes a long way when you’re building something. And one of the biggest things that go into changing a program is having full support from your administration, which I know I have here at Ellender.”
The 29 year old Turner did not confirm what’s his plan for his coaching staff, but he expressed that he wants a staff that’s all in. Turner called the plays on offense the last four years, but hasn’t decided if he will continue those duties going forward.
“As a head coach I can’t just hold these kids accountable, I have to make sure I hold my assistant coaches accountable as well,” Turner said. “When you look around the state at programs that are successful consistently, they have great assistant coaches. We have to set a standard here & it starts with us as coaches.”
The Patriots have a good bit of young talent coming back on offense next season that shouldn’t make the transition too difficult for Turner. Standouts Junior Tyshaun Hester & Freshman Devante Scott will be returning at running back to give the Patriots a very talented backfield. Talented Sophomore wide receiver O’Ryan James returns & they’ll get back freshman receiver Tamaj Verginwho sat out this past season with a knee injury. They’ll return the whole offensive line led by junior Bradley Martin.
Talented Freshmen Zatontay Smith & Zay Queenwill be returning next year on the defensive line with Freshman linebacker Johnathan Vallelungo will bolstering the linebacker group.
“We have a lot of young talent returning that got a lot of varsity experience this past season,” Turner said. “We know the talent that we have in this building over here along with the talent coming from our feeder schools Grand Caillou & Oaklawn that we’re extremely excited about.”
The two sport athlete is coming off of an outstanding junior year on the gridiron. He finished the season with 836 yards receiving, 17 touchdowns (running & catching) & 1 interception that he returned back for a touchdown. Had he not had to play quarterback 3 games this season because of injury, it’s no doubt this kid would have had well over a thousand yards receiving.
Some major power five schools have taken notice of Johnson’s play this season. Virginia was the first to offer him back in September & shortly after Tennessee came calling. Louisiana Tech, Arkansas, Kansas, Florida St, Colorado, & Louisville have all extended offers in the recent weeks.
“I’m blessed to be in this position to get recruited by so many big time programs,” Johnson said. “When Virginia offered me first my mom thought I was lying to her (chuckling). It just made me realize that I have a real opportunity to go play on the next level. Coming from a school like Booker T. Washington you think that colleges aren’t paying attention to us, but I think we are starting to open some eyes over here.”
The 6-foot-2, 195 pound stud is also a standout on the hardwood as well. He help lead his team to a 1-A state championship appearance last season versus North Central & averaged 16.4 points per game on the year. He also got offered by Georgetown, UAB, & Stephen Austin after a big summer playing on the Nike circuit with his AAU team LivOn/Fleur De Lis. Many think that Johnson wants to pursue his basketball career over football, but he expressed his feelings on this subject.
“I’ll always have love for basketball, but my future on the next level is in football,” Johnson said. “College football coaches love when they see that you can hoop. With my size & athleticism I know I can be special on the football field.”
When you think about some of the top tier receivers in the state for the 2021 class the names that come to mind are Brian Thomas, Chris Hilton, & Destyn Pazon. But Johnson is not far behind at all. He has good length and instincts to go with some tremendous hands. He has the ability to make a lot of difficult catches because of his strong hands, high level hand-eye coordination and ability to catch the ball through contact.
Johnson says he plans to visit & camp at some of the schools that have offered so far so he can have a good idea where he wants to commit to. “Florida St, Virginia, & Arkansas are the schools that really have my attention right now,” Johnson said. “I want to build a relationship with those coaching staffs & get on campus soon. I would like to be committed by the start of my senior year, but I don’t know if it will play out like that. This is not something I’m going to rush through because it’s going to be one of the biggest decisions of my life.”
The South Terrebonne Gators seem to be hitting on all cylinders heading into district play after a big win against a scrappy Central Catholic team.
Head coach Caleb White has the Gators off to one of their best seasons in recent memory with a record of 13-5. In front of their home crowd where they have yet to lose this season, the Gators showed that they are a team to lookout for come playoff time.
The Gators stayed in control much of the game until late in the fourth when the Eagles would make their run. Senior Tyler Blanchard & sophomore D.J Lewis made some timely shots to help send the game into overtime tied at 56.
Critical missed free throws by the Eagles in the three overtimes would ultimately hurt their chances to pull out a big win on the road. D.J Lewis was fouled on a put back in the third overtime with no time on the clock, but he would missed the first of a one & one to end the game at 74-72.
Sophomore guard Markell Marshall was impressive all game leading all scorers with 24 points & 6 assists for the Gators. Marshall knocked down four three pointers & gave the Eagles fits all night with his ability to get to the cup at will.
The play of game is when sophomore Caleb Fleming hit a big three from about four feet from the perimeter to tie the game at 53 to send it into overtime for the Gators. Fleming had the hot hand most of the night & he delivered when he was called upon. Fleming finished the game with 20 points.
Senior R.J Cox continued his hot streak finishing the game with 21 points & 11 rebounds for the Gators. His activity & energy has played a major part into why the Gators are off to a 13-5 start this season. Cox fouled out in the second overtime, but sophomore Christian Arceneaux stepped up big with some timely shots.
Senior Taylor Blanchard led Central Catholic with 22 points & sophomore D.J Lewis added 14 points & 7 rebounds.
About a month ago, the Patterson Lumberjacks topped Morgan City High 62-58 for a non-district win over St. Mary Parish foe. On Friday night, the rivaling Lumberjacks and Tigers squared off for the second time in another anticipated cross-town matchup. Patterson looking to continue their winning ways and MC looking to get revenge on the Jacks, the Patterson High gym was packed with solid energy for both squads. After three tightly contested quarters and the game tied at 43-43, Patterson outscored the opposition 25-16 to win by a score of 68-59.
The backcourt duo of Kyler Paul and Elijah Williams combined for 35 to lead the Lumberjack offensive attack. Sophomore standout Kyler Paul scored 17 points by hitting shots from all over the court and going 6-7 from the charity stripe; the PG also dished out multiple assists to set up teammates for open looks. Williams attacked the rim and found his spots in the mid-range to total 18 points on the night. Kai Schexnayder poured in multiple clutch buckets en route to contributing 11 points.
Devonta Grogan led Morgan City with 25 points on the night behind 19 second-half points and four 3-pointers. The 6’3 SG was impressive all night, showing off range from beyond the arc and the confidence of one of the most dynamic players in Louisiana’s 2020. Nylan Francis and Tylan Bennet also contributed 15 points and 13 points, respectively.
In the first half of basketball, both teams went back-and-forth with Patterson taking a 27-26 lead into the break. The final two quarters of basketball was more of the same game – both teams playing high-intensity defense.
Patterson’s head basketball coach Edwin Colbert cited the key to victory, “We stress defense a lot. If you play defense, you give yourself a chance to win. Defense leads to offense. I carry 15 deep and all 15 will play if they’re playing defense and wearing people down all night.”
Late in the third quarter, however, Devonta Grogan found a rhythm and carried Morgan City by knocking down jump shot after jump shot. Patterson stayed in the game by playing smart basketball: letting their defense translate into offense, getting fastbreak points, and attacking the rim. The Lumberjacks earned 6 trips to the free-throw line and shot 8-11 in the third quarter alone to keep it close.
The fourth quarter of basketball was headlined by a 10-0 Patterson spurt to give themselves a 13-point lead halfway through the quarter. Big baskets by Kai Schexnayder and Ty Walton would fend off any hope of a late-game comeback. Along with Schexnayder and Walton, the Lumberjacks converted on 7 free throws to seal the victory.
Colbert discussed his team’s adjustments leading into the fourth quarter, “We had to turn up the pressure on Grogan – number 4 – he's a really good athlete, probably one of the best athletes in the parish. I figured if we can make him make tough decisions; by forcing turnovers, that would give us an opportunity to pull away, and it happened.”
Patterson, currently ranked #13 in Class 3A, improves to 14-9 in their rough regular season slate. The Lumberjacks have built up an impressive resume so far this season with wins over Alexandria, Westgate, South Terrebonne, HLB, and Central Catholic. They also hold close losses to Peabody, Terrebonne, and Rummel. After multiple second-round playoff exits, Patterson seems to be a true contender to make it to Burton Coliseum this year. The difference-maker this season is the breakout year by sophomore Kyler Paul. The whole cast of Elijah Williams, Kai Schexnayder, Tyrone Tillman, and Ty Walton give this team the intensity and defensive ability to compete with any team in 3A. With the District 9-3A slate quickly approaching, Patterson appears to be the favorite to win the district crown and set themselves up for a long playoff run.
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Scotlandville Continue Their Winning Ways With Win In Sugar Bowl National Bracket Tourney Title Game
The Hornets showed why they are considered one of the best basketball programs in the state regardless of class winning the Sugar Bowl National Bracket Tourney this past weekend.
Tampa Catholic led after the first quarter 21-20, but would never lead the game after that. Tai’Reon Joseph was stellar in the first half leading Scotlandville with 12 points to give his team a 33-30 lead going into the half.
Johni Broome was damn near unstoppable for Tampa Catholic leading all scorers with 30 points, but it wouldn’t be enough to take down the three-time defending Division I state champion Hornets. The Hornets would out score the Crusaders 29-15 in the fourth quarter & go on to win the championship 70-56.
Tai’Reon Joseph led Scotlandville with 25 points, Carvell Teasett poured in 16 points, & Virginia signee Reece Beekman added 10 points.
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